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Slivovitz for the Uninitiated

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  • rowjo Mar 12, 2010 11:11 AM
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I've been doing some reading about Slivovitz lately (spurred by a friend's suggestion) and am interested in trying it. I've read that it is very high proof and often "firery" or "bitter" and a bit overpowering.

For a newbie, which brand of Slivovitz do you Slivovitz drinkers suggest? Are there any brands that are a bit fruiter...or heaven forbid....even a bit sweeter?

Thanks!

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  1. Usually pretty raw stuff to be tossed back in a hurry. I've had the triple-distilled, homemade slivovitz in eastern Europe though, and it was smooth and lovely. I posted a question similar to yours some months ago...and CHer's have suggested Mirabelle eau-de-vie as a smooth alternative, at about $35 a bottle (in my home market). Haven't bought it yet, but there you go.

    Link to previous topic:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/657498

    1 Reply
    1. re: comestible

      Hi,
      I recommended the Mirabelle, and just bought another bottle yesterday. It really has a fruity layer to it and is very smooth--I keep it in the freezer and drink it from a small glass I keep in the freezer, as well. At 90 proof, it's got the requisite strength...

    2. Romanian plum Tuica is not that far off Slivovitz. The homemade stuff I had over there had more of the fruit in it and was fairly tasty and I don't eat plums.

      1. Firery yes, but so often is grappa. I love both. Think of slivovitz as plummy grappa. I agree that Mirabelle eau de vie is similar.

        If you like this type of thing there is a whole world of clear grappas, eau de vie, kirsch, etc that are fairly similar. There are Portugese (aguardente) Spanish (Orujo) Italian, and eastern european versions.

        Grappa and the like are made from Pomace (leftovers after wine making) and the fruit brandies can be made from just about anything.

        There are even an increasing number of US made versions as well. Most best drunk neat like a cognac.

        5 Replies
        1. re: StriperGuy

          There are 2 types of orujo in Spain. Gallaego made from grapes, Asturiano, made from apples.

          1. re: MOREKASHA

            Oh dear, never knew there was apple orujo; and I LOVE Calvados. Are you aware of any US sources for apple Orujo? I just tried googling...

            1. re: StriperGuy

              SG, I too am a Calva fan. However, The Orujo made from apples has NO apple aroma or flavor. Haven't ever seen any Orujo in the US. Oh, both Orujos are also made w/honey or hierbas (herbs) or just clear.

              1. re: MOREKASHA

                Gotcha.

                The bottle I have is grape from Galicia but I got it in Spain.

                In Mallorca many years ago I had the most remarkable home made hierbas. Have never had any as good since.

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  I love the honey versions. When I was in Pontevedra we had some homemade (grape based orujo) at a Navarese bar. They had 4-5 different flavors! Many times in restaurants they serve it chilled like vodka.

        2. My wife, who as a general rule is obsessed with all things Balkan, describes slivovitz as "fruit-based lighter fluid." Having sampled it a few times myself, I tend to agree. However, those who are really into this sort of thing tend to find that a feature, not a bug, so I'm not sure you're going to find a proper slivovitz (as opposed to Mirabelle, etc.) that won't blow off the back of your skull. That's just what this stuff does!

          1. For what it's worth, when you're in Hungary and you want the good stuff, you order kosher slivovitz. Whether it's strictly kosher or not I'm not sure, but it does have a bit more refinement than the run-of-the-(gin)-mill stuff. I've bought it there to bring home

            I actually like slivovitz myself - but then, I also drank grappa 30 years ago, before it got all frou-frou.

            1. I agree, rowjo, nothing of this stuff can compare to a good slivovitz. Some say serbian sort of plum called Pozegaca is the most aromatic plum in the world. For a newbie I suggest Yellow Wasp slivovitz madfe from unpolluted organic fruit, its of 40% v/v, quite acceptable.

              1. I just returned from Romania, and in addition to both home made and commercial tuica, I had the pleasure of trying palinca and horinca, which are stronger than the home made tuica. I brough back a bottle of horinca, it is 100 proof and tastes very similar to palinca (from plums), though the label says it is made from apples. It has no apple flavor that I can detect, so I'm not sure if that's accurate. At any rate, I like all three and would recommend them to anyone who likes Slivovitz.